If you are a triathlete or a wanna-be triathlete, the Chicago area offers you a great deal of options for races. While the races are concentrated in the summer months due to the unpredictable weather the area can have, there are some great venues, cool amenities and some extremely well-organized races to choose from. Here are four races you should be sure to consider adding to your racing schedule:
- Naperville Women’s Triathlon – Sorry gents – this one is ladies only. This event is in mid-June and is a perfect opportunity for those first-time female triathletes. The swim is in a man-made quarry and is a snake pattern to make up a half mile. The bike is 13.3 miles and is flat and fast. The 3.1-mile run is through the neighborhood and is also very flat. The camaraderie and support from other participants, volunteers and spectators at this event is second to none.
- Chicago Sprint Triathlon – The Chicago Triathlon is the world’s largest triathlon! One of the greatest things about this race is that they organize an open water swim for participants to become familiar with swimming in Lake Michigan. This course is also flat and fast. The race offers late check in for sprint participants so you can sleep in. Lastly, participants receive a beer and lunch at the completion of the event.
- Pleasant Prairie Triathlon – This little gem of a race is just over the border of IL into WI but is very much worth the trip. The swim is held in Lake Andrea and is one of the cleanest, calmest lakes in the area. TIP: Use mirrored goggles! The swim back to shore is directly into the sun! The bike is mostly flat and the run is flat and the course goes around the lake making for a very scenic run. Race organizers are top notch and they also offer an Olympic distance on the same day.
- Tri Shark Triathlon – This little gem of a race is about two hours south of Chicago and is definitely worth the trip! The swim is on the shorter side at 600 yards and Evergreen Lake is a fine venue. The 13-mile bike is flat and fast and the 3.1 mile run is a little desolate, has some small hills, but overall this event provides an outstanding experience. It’s early in the season, very organized and the awards have been unique wood cutouts. The post-race celebration is small, but hearty and has a very home-town feel. Do yourself a favor and put Tri Shark on your list of races to do!
If you are looking for other races to put on your schedule or are looking for help with your training plan, feel free to contact me.
Train Right, Tri Right!